Sunday, December 24, 2006

What Christine is Getting for Christmas - Wodehouse

Christine has become a fan of P.G. Wodehouse and so she'll be getting several nice editions of his works this Christmas. Those are mixed in with other gifts, marginally disguised to thwart her ability to guess each gift item.

That means she'll know they're books, that they're Wodehouse books, but not which titles. I don't even know that without checking the order form now that they're wrapped.

I bought enough to keep her in Wodehouse reading much of the year since they're hard to come by at bookstore or library, despite their popularity.

Getting around to Wodehouse
They're filled with clever language, humor and plots that are complex enough to satisfy mystery readers though they're concerned more with manners than mayhem. If you haven't heard, they feature, mostly, the misadventures of British playboy Bertie Wooster, the narrator, and his manservant Jeeves, prototype for the American popular conception of butlers and footmen, though no longer the servant on :-(

We'd always meant to get around to Wodehouse. Years ago, probably when they were new, we used to see listings for the British series video in the Signals catalog, long a source of sweatshirts and tees in our house.

Hugh Laurie played Bertie on British TV and since Christine is a House, M.D. fan that prompted us to locate the titles on Netflix.

And the books followed, prompting her to not only read some but to read them out loud to me. (A favorite line invovles Bertie musing that a grouchy Scottish pooch wandered off "muttering something in Gaelic under his breath.")

I never have to read anything Christine is interested in. She either reads it to me or summarizes so completely I can save the time of sitting down with the actual prose. She summed up a recent New York Times profile of Kristin Chenoweth so completely I didn't have to read it or watch any more episodes of Studio 60, thinly-veiled Kristin Chenoweth biography.

This time next year
This time next year I'll be able to act versed in the works of Wodehouse. I'll be able to rattle off oneliners.

I predict the Wodehouse investment is a good choice of stocking stuffer.

Why am I bothering to tell everyone all this? Well maybe it will help with last-minute giving for some who can find Wodehouse in stores.

And I have to stay off my left foot. Monty--aka the king, the senior household tomcat, butler of our cats you might say-- got into the back yard yesterday and regular readers of this blog will know that usually means I get hurt. (He sniffed in a flowerbed then headed for the woods which connect to a busy roadway. I hopped off a retaining wall to head him off and, well I have to stay off my left foot.)

I could use a Jeeves.


Stewart Sternberg (half of L.P. Styles) said...


I am glad to have met you online and I hope we can continue our dialogue. Peace to you and to your family. Have a happy holiday.


Sidney said...

I'm glad to have met you also, and a very happy holiday to you too!

Clifford said...


Sounds like a thoughtful gift. I bought my sister a series of romance novels by Norah Roberts and after wrapping them I figured she'd know exactly what they were, too...fortunately, I won't be seeing her until tomorrow, so she hasn't seen any of the packages yet!

May you and Christine have a FANTASTIC holiday!

Charles Gramlich said...

Shopping for Lana was very easy. We agreed to get something for the house instead of for each other, and we bought a beautiful bronze dragon and a small fountain for our den. I got a 100 dollars from my mom, which I've already spent on books.

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